The Theory of Everything

Kari Luna - Author

Hardcover | $17.99 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9780399256264 | 320 pages | 11 Jul 2013 | Philomel | 9.25 x 6.25in | 12 - AND UP years
Additional Formats:
Summary of The Theory of Everything Summary of The Theory of Everything Reviews for The Theory of Everything An Excerpt from The Theory of Everything

One part Libba Bray's GOING BOVINE, two parts String Theory, and three parts love story equals a whimsical novel that will change the way you think about the world.

Sophie Sophia is obsessed with music from the late eighties. She also has an eccentric physicist father who sometimes vanishes for days and sees things other people don’t see. But when he disappears for good and Sophie’s mom moves them from Brooklyn, New York, to Havencrest, Illinois, for a fresh start, things take a turn for the weird. Sophie starts seeing things, like marching band pandas, just like her dad.

Guided by Walt, her shaman panda, and her new (human) friend named Finny, Sophie is determined to find her father and figure out her visions, once and for all. So she travels back to where it began—New York City and NYU’s physics department. As she discovers more about her dad’s research on M-theory and her father himself, Sophie opens her eyes to the world’s infinite possibilities—and her heart to love.

Perfect for fans of Going Bovine, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and The Probability of Miracles.

The Theory of Everything
Kari Luna
Philomel Books
An Imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.


Once I saw a guy’s heart roll right off his sleeve. Mom and I were sitting in a booth at Sal’s sharing a sausage calzone when I saw it—a big red heart sitting on the outside of his arm instead of the middle of his chest where it belonged. When Mom left for the bathroom, I saw it move, slowly down his biceps until it got to the elbow, rolled off and landed on the floor with a thud. Right next to his bright green sneaker.

The heart stood still. The guy twirled spaghetti on a fork with one hand and gestured excitedly to his date with the other. And she just sat there, sipping soda through a straw and looking totally uninterested in whatever he was saying, which was too bad. Considering the heart and all, it was probably important.

“Cut it out,” Mom said, sliding back into the booth. She had a smear of red-orange lipstick on her teeth. “How would you like to be on a date and have some kid look you over?”

“I’m too young to date,” I said, staring at the floor where the heart had been. “And you might want to blot.”

Normally I would have been mortified by her lack of grooming skills, but I had bigger things to worry about. Things like seeing something that wasn’t there. Just like Dad.

“I know you miss New York,” Mom said, leaving her lip print on a white paper napkin. “But San Francisco is the New York of the West, remember?”

It wasn’t the New York of the West because people walked too slowly, ate burritos the size of their faces and rode trollies, but whatever. I was less interested in our most recent move and more into the fact that I was maybe, possibly turning into my father.

“When did Dad first see something?” I asked, smearing sauce around the plate with my fork. Wondering if he was twelve like I was.

“You know we don’t talk about your father,” she said, tapping her nails against the laminate. Her hands hadn’t stopped moving since Dad left. “Let’s get out of here.”

She grabbed her coat, slid out of the booth and forged ahead, heels clacking. I lagged behind her until I got to the heart guy’s table, where I froze, staring at the heart, which was now back where it belonged: next to the I and above the NY on his white tourist T-shirt.

“You’ll have to excuse my daughter,” Mom said, pulling me away with one hand and pointing at their cheesecake with the other. “She’s just mad we didn’t order dessert.”

I was mad I saw something no one else did. But more than that, I was mad Dad wasn’t there to explain it to me.

The front door chimed as she held it open.

“Come on,” Mom said. “I’d like to get home before Christmas.”

And I’d like to go back to New York, back to when Dad was around, but I doubted either of those things were going to happen.

“Sophie Sophia!” she said, waving me toward the door. Her breath froze in little clouds before her.

“Coming,” I said, tightening my black-and-white striped scarf around me. I knew I’d never tell her what happened. But I wished—secretly and desperately—that it would happen again.

To keep up-to-date, input your email address, and we will contact you on publication

Please alert me via email when:

The author releases another book